Peruvian cuisine has always enticed me, something exotic and increasingly popular whilst also drawing influence from a range of cultures. So it might sound like a surprise that Tierra Peru was actually my first venture into this exciting terrain! With influences from Europe, Asia and West Africa it is one of the most interesting fusion cuisines in the world.
Tierra Peru is an unassuming restaurant in the middle of Essex Road somewhere I must admit I’ve never, until now, ventured towards. But it’s worth making a trek past Upper Street to Tierra Peru as they serve vibrant and traditional Peruvian cuisine. Having pretty much no idea what any of these dishes were we dived head first into the Trio de causitas, Chicharrones de pulpo nikkei, Arroz con pato and Aji de gallina.
Trio de causitas
The trio de causitas were three brightly coloured potato cakes accompanied by a range of different ingredients from avocado to octopus. I’m unsure whether the potato cakes themselves were supposed to be different besides the colour but the dish had a delightful range of textures and tastes. The seafood varieties were cooked particularly well and I loved the different texture the plantain chips added.
Chicharrones de pulpo nikkei
The Chicharrones de pulpo nikkei are delicately fried pieces of octopus with a splashing of vibrant colours and ingredients, this was my favourite dish of the night. Like with the causitas this had a number of different flavours and textures which worked well with each other. I particularly liked the seaweed, imparting some rich umami which I wish there was more of.
Aji de gallina
The Aji de gallina was a creamy concoction of chicken, amarillo peppercream and walnuts. The proportions were a little off though as the quantity of sauce overwhelmed the chicken and rice. However this was a moreish dish that was surprisingly mild, as the menu suggested it was mildly spicy and my friend is the sort that can’t even eat mild Nandos!
Arroz con pato
The braised duck leg had some interesting flavours combined with a hint of stout though there wasn’t as much variation in this dish compared to the others.
Eating at Tierra Peru was like an exciting adventure into the unknown for me with intriguing tastes and an abundance of colour. Some ingredients do appear quite frequently but each dish has a considered range of flavours and textures, the starters are a great way to sample Peruvian food whilst the mains provide a hearty meal. If you haven’t tried Peruvian food before and can’t wait to try this cultural fusion of a cuisine then Tierra Peru isn’t a bad place to start.
Address: 164 Essex Road, Islington, N1 8LY
Telephone: 0207 354 5586
Mind The Gap
Mon – Thur: 5pm – 11pm
Fri – Sun: 12pm – 11pm
Panda ate,shot and left.